SL navy arrest 12 Indian fishermen

Twelve Indian fishermen were arrested by Sri Lankan navy personnel on Thursday for alleged poaching, PTI reported. Two fishing trawlers were also seized during the arrest which took place near Karainagar, the Assistant Director of Fisheries, Manikandan told journalists. The detained men have been taken to Kangesanthurai port where they were charged for poaching fish and using illegal fishing nets. The incident is the latest in a series of arrests of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy despite attempts by both governments to resolve the issue through dialogue.

Sri Lankan PM refutes NYT report on Chinese pressure over port

The Sri Lankan prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday refuted a report by the New York Times which claimed that China had pressurised the government to handover Hambantota port in order to rectify mounting debts. “I must say that the Chinese government never pressurised Sri Lanka on this matter," Mr Wickremesinghe told MPs during a special statement in parliament. "What the Chinese government wanted us to do was to get proposals from Chinese companies to come up with proposals to run the Port initially. The proposal from China Merchant Port was most beneficial for Sri Lanka. China...

Tamil UNP minister forced to resign over 'pro-LTTE' statement

The Tamil UNP state minister of child affairs, Vijayakala Maheswaran yesterday resigned from her post after she faced criticism from cross-party Sinhala politicians and MPs for calling for a resurgence of the LTTE in order to curb crime rates in North-East. Her resignation comes as Colombo papers reported that the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe had requested her to resign. The UNP's disclipinary proceedings are set to continue.

US trains Sri Lankan troops as part of RIMPAC 2018

The US military has been training Sri Lankan marines who are taking part in the US-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) navy exercise for the first time.

CPJ calls for press freedom in Sri Lanka

The Committee to Protect Journalists called for press freedom in Sri Lanka and urged politicians stop to halt the intimidation of journalists by publicly levelling accusations against them. The statement from the press freedom organisation comes after the editor of the New York Times, condemned the intimidation of journalists by Sri Lankan lawmakers following a report last month into Chinese control over of the Hambantota port. “Politicians have every right to dispute the findings of a news report, but publicly singling out Dharisha Bastians and Arthur Wamanan is a worrisome development in a...

UK calls for transitional justice and repeal of PTA at Human Rights Council

The United Kingdom has called for Sri Lanka to establish a transitional justice mechanism and repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act. "In Sri Lanka, we are encouraged by further recent land returns, the Cabinet’s approval of a Bill to establish an Office of Reparations and steps taken to hold perpetrators of hate speech to account. However, much more still needs to be done," the UK mission said speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. "We urge the government to take the steps necessary to implement fully Resolution 34/1, including devolution through constitutional reform, the...

Black Tigers Day marked across the North-East

Pictured: Commemoration at Vakarai, Batticaloa Tamils across the North-East marked Karumpuli Naal today, commemorating the men and women of the LTTE’s Black Tigers.

Tamil govt officials under investigation for applauding Vijayakala's pro-LTTE comments

The names of Tamil government officials who applauded a Sri Lankan minister’s speech extolling the LTTE are to be identified and handed to the Jaffna District Secretariat for investigation. State Minister of Child Affairs, Vijayakala Maheswaran, said in a speech that the resurrection of the LTTE was needed to protect Tamil communities, to which Tamil government officials are reported to have applauded loudly. After backlash in the South about Ms Maheswaran’s comments, the district secretariat issued an order to all divisional secretariats to identify and report all such officials who had ‘...

Sri Lanka to shift navy base to Chinese-controlled port

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister announced that its southern navy base will be shifted to a port in Hambantota that has been entirely built and controlled by the Chinese. Ranil Wickremesinghe issued a statement on Saturday, as he sought to alleviate fears that the Hambantota port would be used by China’s military. The Hambantota port, built at a cost of a reported $1.5 billion, is currently under a 99-year lease to China Merchants Port Holdings after the Sri Lankan government struggled to make payments on the loan taken out for the project. “Sri Lanka also informed the Chinese that Hambantota...

‘Slow pace of progress on reform and justice in Sri Lanka’ - US ambassador nominee

Sri Lanka has shown slow pace of progress on reform and justice, said the nominee for the next US ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz. In her testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations last week, Ms Teplitz said that, “Sri Lanka has come a long way since voters in 2015 rejected the corruption, strife, and repression of the past and threw their support behind a reform, reconciliation, and accountability agenda.” She went on to state that, “However, the pace of progress on reform and justice has been slow, and, as anti-Muslim riots in March so painfully demonstrated, the work...